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School days to be extended; year ends June 6

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By Thomas Barr

 SHEPHERDSVILLE -- With the General Assembly finally completing its work, local educators were busy last week finalizing plans to complete the remaining days of the school year.

Having missed 15 days of school, Bullitt County Public School students were facing the loss of two weeks of their summer vacation.

However, with the governor's signing of a compromised bill on Friday afternoon, Bullitt County students will now complete the current school year on Friday, June 6.

Graduation would be held for the three high schools on Sunday, June 8.

Superintendent Keith Davis said there was no real good solutions to making up the days to ensure students received 1,062 instructional hours.

At an emergency meeting Thursday, the school board voted unanimously to amend the current calendar and to set graduation dates.

Students will now be attending classes an additional 14 minutes per day, starting on Monday, April 7.

This would mean that all schools would start nine minutes earlier than normal and finished five minutes later.

It would also mean that the final early release day of the year, set for Wednesday, April 16, would now be a full day of instruction.

For teachers and staff, there would still be work to be done. June 9-10 were set as work days with closing day set for June 11. Professional development day would be Thursday, June 12.

Board member Roger Hayes inquired how the changes would affect the teachers' contract with the district.

Davis said he would work with the Bullitt County Education Association leadership to see if days would be shortened to stay within the contract.

In sending out e-mails to parents on Friday, Davis emphasized that students must be at school on time or they would be counted tardy.

At the regular school board meeting on Monday, Davis said he had received various concerns about the extended school year. He said the issues varied from students having summer jobs to parents having vacations already planned.

In terms of graduation dates, Davis said the district really didn't have a lot of options.

While the Saturday, June 14, at Broadbent Arena had been secured, that would mean that commencement exercises would be a week after the new ending date.

The schedule for Sunday, June 8, will have Bullitt East graduating at 1 p.m., to be followed by North Bullitt (4 p.m.) and Bullitt Central (7 p.m.).

In his communications with parents, Davis regretted that another day could not be worked out.

Moving the graduation ceremonies back to the school gyms would be difficult as seating would be limited and each graduate would only have the opportunity to invite so many family and friends.

Hosting it on a weekday would mean that two of the graduations would be held during the workday.

And Broadbent Arena is already booked for June 7.

By setting the time at 1 p.m., Davis hoped that most would still be able to attend morning worship.

By meeting even before the governor signed the legislation, Davis said it was important to make a decision and alert parents prior to the start of spring break.

Graduation arrangements were especially important as invitations have to be printed for the students and travel arrangements are needed for many relatives.